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Risk Indicators

AFT analyzed eight environmental indicator models (pesticide risk indicators) that could be used to assess how pesticide applications impact the environment and public health. Each indicator requires a variety of data inputs including pesticide application records, pesticide property information, pesticide toxicity data, weather data and soil data. In addition, each environmental indicator is designed for certain environmental regions and considers specific data points in unique ways.

Cornell University's Environmental Risk Analysis Program
Cornell University's Environmental Risk Analysis Program has a variety of resources concerning pesticide risk indicators and other systems that can measure environmental risk.

  • CHEMS1 : The "Chemical Hazard Evaluation for Management Strategies" environmental indicator model utilizes a ranking methodology to calculate hazards to human health and the environment. The model considers the environmental impact of chemicals on air, soil, groundwater and surface water. When calculating environmental impact, this model takes into account preexisting levels of the chemical in the environment due to industrial uses.

  • EIQ : The "Environmental Impact Quotient" environmental indicator relies on a ranking methodology to assess the environmental and health risks of a particular pesticide application scheme. This model uses toxicology data and chemical parameter information to calculate risk to farm workers, consumers and terrestrial organisms.

  • EPRIP : Developed in Italy, the "Environmental Potential Risk Indicator for Pesticides" calculates a predicted environmental concentration in groundwater, surface water, soil, and air. This predicted environmental concentration is the level of the pesticide's active ingredient in the environment after application. Once calculated, the predicted environmental concentration is divided by toxicology information to arrive at a potential risk score.

  • EYP : The "Environmental Yardstick for Pesticides" environmental indicator model calculates the predicted environmental concentration of a pesticide's active ingredient in surface water and soil. For groundwater concentrations, this Dutch model relies on either the PESTLA or PEARL leaching simulation program. Once calculated, these predicted environmental concentrations are divided by toxicology information to arrive at an "Environmental Impact Point" score.

  • MATF : The "Multi-Attribute Toxicity Factor" environmental indicator model uses a modified ranking methodology to calculate toxicity factor values for acute mammalian risk, chronic mammalian risk, ecological impacts, and impacts on beneficial organisms. These toxicity factor values are based on human health risk data, toxicological data, and chemical parameter information. Once calculated, these toxicity factor values are multiplied by the application rate of the pesticide's active ingredient to arrive at final toxicity units. Researchers designed this model for Wisconsin potatoes as part of a collaborative effort between the University of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association, and the World Wildlife Fund (UW/WPVGA/WWF).

  • PERI : The "Pesticide Environmental Risk Indicator" originated in Sweden. This model uses a ranking methodology to assess the environmental risk from pesticide applications for groundwater, surface water, and air. Researchers designed this model as part of a system of indicators that could be used by farmers to record and evaluate potential environmental risk over time as part of an ISO 14001 certification process.

  • SYNOPS_2 : This German environmental indicator model assesses the potential environmental risk of a pesticide application strategy. SYNOPS_2 calculates a predicted environmental concentration of a pesticide's active ingredient in soil, air, and surface water. This model also calculates a predicted environmental concentration for groundwater with the PELMO leaching program. For soil and surface water, these concentrations are then divided by toxicology information to arrive at a risk score.

  • SyPEP : Belgian researchers developed the "System for Predicting the Environmental Impact of Pesticides" environmental indicator model. This model calculates a predicted environmental concentration of a pesticide's active ingredient in groundwater and surface water. Toxicology information is then divided by this predicted environmental concentration. The resulting value is ranked and classified as a "toxicity exposure ratio."
American Farmland Trust